The debate on how individual workers effectively replace teamwork became prominent during the pandemic. This is because the directive for non-essential employees to work from home caused many businesses to install telecommuting software in employees’ homes.
The purpose of this article is to outline by what means employees who work from home become productive. There are five factors to consider doing this. First, the impact of the pandemic on individual workers and teamwork. Second, positive and negative aspects of working from home. Third, reasons why and how individual workers effectively replace teamwork. Fourth, the emergence and importance of the ‘lone wolf’ phenomenon. Fifth, the prospect of individual workers versus teamwork in a post-pandemic workplace.
Impact Of The Pandemic On Individual Workers And Teamwork
The global COVID-19 pandemic led to several safety protocols designed to curb the spread and prevent infection. The most challenging instructions are the lockdown, stay at home, work- from- home for non-essential workers.
The work-from-home strategy disrupted collaborative office teamwork. Although video conferencing provided a sense of team spirit, employees still determine task pace. The result is that individual initiative bypassed in-person office teamwork.
Positive And Negative Aspects of Working From Home
There are two major positive aspects of working from home, though there are more. First, working from home gives employees the opportunity to be more single-minded on their work tasks. This reduces contact with other co‐workers, hence fewer interruptions. Second, workers have greater discretion on how and when they can finish a task. This increases flexibility, effort, job autonomy, and productivity.
Alongside the positive aspects are two negatives. First, is the decreased control by colleagues or the supervisor. This is a high risk for work avoidance and less feedback on mistakes. Second, there is social and professional isolation from working at home. This reduces interpersonal networking and informal learning from colleagues and supervisors.
Reasons Why And How Individual Workers Effectively Replace Teamwork
Many jobs don’t need team players to succeed
Many years of research show that individuals always perform better than groups in both quality and quantity. Likewise, group performance tends to worsen as group size gets bigger, rendering group brainstorming ineffective. Moreover, people in groups tend to sit back and let others do the work, then just tag along with others’ suggestions. In the end, they often succumb to peer pressure and abandon their opinions in the process.
Cost savings and monetary compensation
Many businesses have saved costs from their employees working from home. In particular, in areas like rent and utilities, cleaning services, cafeteria, taxes, and payroll costs. Notwithstanding cost savings, there are new costs of video conference software and other tools employees need to work effectively from home.
Furthermore, many organisations provide employees with stipends to buy new home office equipment. While other organisations see the benefits of moving costs savings on office into pockets of individual workers. For instance, companies that provided free lunches gave employees weekly credit to pay for food while working from home. Also, several companies are able to provide child care assistance to parents who need it.
Influence of communication technology
The number of firms supporting work from home rose intensely as communication technology changed the way people collaborate. Nonetheless is the growing implication of technology on physical and mental health. This is because stay‐at‐home lacks a clear transition between work and leisure. Then again a good solution is to increase positive coping during the COVID‐19 pandemic. This means, being aware of the likely harmful effects of technology use, and put measures in place to avoid burnout.
The Emergence And Importance Of The ‘Lone Wolf’ Phenomenon
In pre-pandemic times, many workers worked in teams, in open offices. Solitude was outdated. Individual geniuses were out. Teamwork was in. But the pandemic changed all that. The pandemic came and attached importance to the emergence of the ‘lone wolf’ (working alone) phenomenon. In essence, the pandemic gave the individual worker a platform to exercise freedom on performance initiatives.
Thus, being a lone wolf is a classic and useful phenomenon and a state of being that can boost the individual worker. It’s becoming glaring that most companies want to keep people who can work alone effectively, and take responsibility for mistakes. Rather than retain team players who can’t function independently.
Prospects Of Individual Workers Post-Pandemic Workplace
Before the pandemic, working from home was unrealistic for many companies. But today’s technology makes it easier to do the transition. Nonetheless, every business is unique. So, you’ll need to evaluate the benefits and problems as they apply to your specific business before you make a decision. The crucial fact is that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought work from home to the forefront of employees’ interest. Therefore, it’s a good idea to decide if it’s realistic for your business post-pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted work, lives, jobs, and relationships. Yet, companies are fighting back the virus by choosing innovative ways to run businesses. And globally, companies have embraced work from home as a permanent solution for their employees’ post-pandemic.
Finally, work from home is not only here to stay but also getting popular than ever. This is what most people want to do, and technology is there to help do it effectively and efficiently. To sum up, work from home has shown how individual workers effectively replace teamwork. And perhaps,
“Sometimes, “collaboration” is just another word for shared incompetence”Jennifer Dziura, Founder of GetBullish and the Bullish Conference
Photo Credit: Creative Commons